Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Imperial Guard/Elysian Drop Troops(7E)

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Why Play Elysian Drop Troops[edit]

Because Flyers are OP. Do you remember, how much rage does induct Necron ability to take flyers as dedicated transport? With Elysians you could take Valkyries as transport. And you have flyers in both FA and HS slots. Anything not mounted on Valkyries or Vendettas could deep strike. And all your troops are badass elite paratroopers IN SPACE. This comes for a cost though, as you have literally zero tanks, and all your infantry cost slightly more than regular guard.

Recently new rules have been released for Elysian's in IA3 2ed to 'better' fit 6th ed. Good things include the combat drop rule (only for a few units though), AGLs no longer being one shot, vulture squadrons and slightly better sentries. Company and Platoon Commanders; each respectively, have Senior/Junior officer now. However, vultures are now fast attack (competing with vendettas and tauros), tauros no longer can take homing beacons (making the most unique and interesting Elysian unit no longer viable...) and demo charges have been nerfed to "breacher charges" which is straight up retarded. They also have the D-99 Detachment, which recently got an update with the second edition of IA4.

Now with 7th ed out these guys fall in to a weird spot. They don't have psykers on their own (but allying is easy enough). Unbound lists are a thing but you probably want to make use of your deep striking troops in a bound list. Veteran drop troops can be used to amazing effect if you you use them correctly. Forward sentries can infiltrate and have homing beacons, meaning that when you combat drop flyers, they can come in anywhere within six inches of you infiltrators, setting you up for some good turn One strafing runs.

Guardsmen are still squishy though, always be careful about that.

Rules[edit]

  • Iron Discipline: Iron Discipline for all the infantry gives a chance for below half strength squads to still attempt to rally within 6" of an Officer (any type). This also means that Elysian units are slightly more expensive than regular Imperial Guard counterparts.
  • Deep Strike: The infantry and sentinels can Deep Strike. Yeah. Slap yourself if you thought otherwise.
  • Combat Drop: Half of your Valkyries (sky-talons included), sentries and drop sentinels can deep strike on turn one. Combined with veterans holding homing beacons gives you a very good starting point as long as you go first/your veterans aren't killed right away (keep them in cover).

Unit Analysis[edit]

HQ[edit]

  • Company Command Squad: Much like regular CCS, except you can't take Astropath and Master of Ordnance. The Company Commander has Senior Officer special rule. Like other units they can deep strike. Formerly could only take one special weapon, can now take 4. Arm them with sniper rifles and keep them in the back as an on board presence at the start of the game. Alternatively, arm them with 4 meltas and deepstrike along with other specially kitted veterans. Issue you orders, and reap the tears of your enemies. With 7th ed, these guys can hold objectives and give orders to any nearby troops when they need too. Use them with an ADL and comms relay for a cover boost and bring on some starting AA (get rid of any flyer hunters as they come on, particularly crimson hunters).
    • Long Range ground scanner: This thing is weird. Taken in your CCS for 30 pts you get single guardsman model, which can fuck up enemy infiltrators on a 4+ Or grant one of your units rerolls to hit on non-ordinance guns once per turn, on a 4+, within "12 (or unlimited if both units carry a vox). Stick into a fully upgraded Valk/Vendetta for flying Pask. You can take 4 of these total, so if you highly invest and camp in the back of your board they can actually be of good use. Make sure to bring Vox's on all of your units so you get unlimited range to utilize them.
  • Lord Commissar: Again not much different from vanilla, except he can deep strike and can take homing beacon.

Elites[edit]

  • Storm Trooper Squad: Same old 5th Ed elite guardsmen. Here for fluff reasons. Good as a filler unit with hot shot guns. Their ability to reroll scatter make them good for risky drops behind enemy lines(especially if you give them meltas) Gone with the old IG codex, they can only use Operation Hot Drop now. They can take orders, but without a vox in the unit and the fact that the Sergent doesn't have voice of command who is close (stupid) enough to give them orders?
    • Alternative Take: For 2 points more then regular scions you get a squad of storm troopers that can get either scouts and move through cover (great for fighting on heavily populated maps like cities of death), re-rollable scatter dice (great for suicide troopers), infiltrate and pinning on the first turn they shoot (pinning is always useful even if you don't use infiltrate Elysian special operation Hot Drop which assuming they deep striked in a Valkyrie (which they should of if they aren't a melta squad) they can charge out of the Valkyrie If they don't shoot the turn they disembark. Which is a viable tactic as they have a ccw and hot shot las pistol meaning 3 attacks average on the charge meaning ten guys have 31 attacks charging (4 for the Sergeant) or 21 attacks base. With that many attacks you are bound to kill something (and is funny as hell vs SEQ or GEQ squads). Add a Lord Commissar with a melta bomb and homing beacon to charge that knight first turn and bring in more air support right next to you afterwards.
      • No More Operations: With the new Astra Militarum book now the only legal IG book around there are no more special operations available for normal Imperial Guardsmen, the Elysians get to keep their novel Operation Hot Drop so their storm troopers can go kill themselves first turn if you really want them to. But they do not get to revive old rules and bring back the good ol' days for the sake of nostalgia. Goodbye infiltrating melta guns. (Seriously explain wtf this means...??? No seriously...none of this makes sense...)(He means that Stormtrooper missions don't exist anymore since Stormtroopers were replaced with Tempestus Scions in the newest codex. So the only mission they can take now is Operation Hot Drop.)
  • Drop Sentinels: Can be very very useful, but not really... They can take multi meltas and deep strike which can be amazing. However they are only BS 3, which with a one shot weapon is not so reliable. This would be such a big deal if only they didn't cost 75pts (with MM) each. For 150 points you effectively get to hit with one Multi Melta which still does not have a guarantee of killing anything. For less points you can get a vet squad with three meltas. The only reason to take one or two is for the combat drop option where they can either facilitate or be deep striked on turn one. With 7th ed they can hold objectives, so that's kinda nice but still not worth the points. If they were 50 points, had better BS or were somehow more survivable it would be ok. But they're not which is a real shame. If you want more Valkyries on the table turn one check out the Sentry Gun Battery.

Troops[edit]

  • Drop Infantry Platoon: Again, much like regular platoon, except deep strikes and Valkyries dedicated transport option. You also could take one more HWT, and one Drop Sentinel squadron as part of platoon.
    • Platoon Command Squad: The Platoon Commander has Junior Officer special rule. Same as regular guard PCS but with optional gear changes. Can not take Lascannon or Autocannon. Though they can take Lasguns with AGLs. Also they can have a homing beacon and one Guardsman can take a Lascutter. Think S9 servo-arm.
    • Infantry Squad: Basically the same as regular Guard but with breacher-charges and cheaper Krak grenades. Can not take any of the HWT options and Sarge & Commissar can take Lasguns with AGLs.
    • Special Weapon Squads: It's a 65 point team of Meltaguns (everything else can be provided better by Veterans). There is only 6 of them (and only 3 can carry melta), but they can bring specialized firepower when it's needed. Can take a dedicated transport unlike the regular SWP.
    • Heavy Weapon Squad: Elysian bring only half of awesome firepower because they lose AC. and LC. options. But since you can not buy heavy weapons in your Infantry Squad, they are your only long range option for targeting big things. You can deepstrike them for a perfect rear armor angle shoot but you will need a Homing beacon nearby to pull it off. Can take a dedicated transport unlike the regular HWS. Note however: for the price of 2 heavy bolter squads you can get another valkyrie with rocket pods. Which does the job heavy bolters were made to do, except better. Overall the lack of Autocannons (a go-to for HWT's in regular guard) really hurts Elysian HWT's, so your next best bet is mortar squad in attempt to flush enemies from cover.
    • Drop Sentinel squadron: Same as before, replaces conscripts.
  • Veteran Squad: Like regular veterans, but better. Can not take HW Lascannon and Autocannon. They are very flexible and can be kitted for any role. Give Elysian Veterans 3 Plasmaguns MEQ-TEQ killing goodness or Carapace and 3 Meltas for deep striking Storm Troopers wannabes. Valkyries like before are dedicated transport. Can't take AGLs, Heavy Flamer is not a special weapon (yes you can has 3 flamers AND a heavy flamer), doctrine forward observers is now infiltrate and homing beacon (which can be really good), doctrine demolitions swaps Demo-charge for breacher charge which is a shame... Carapace armour is very good, and a must when using plasma. Makes them deep striking/coming out of a valkyrie a tiiiiny bit less risky. Forward observers is a good way of taking advantage of combat drop. Bring in the valkyries around them and point them to where you want to go. Also good for later deep strikers, if they survive (which they can if play well).

Dedicated transports[edit]

  • Valkyrie Assault Carrier: This is the main reason you should play Elysians. It's fast flyer with beefy 12/12/10 armor and decent armament. There is nothing to say about this bird besides "take it". Default comes with hellstrike missiles, which are meh but work okay for killing vehicles or other flyers. 7th ed lets you shoot them and other guns (snap shot but still). If you stick with the missiles, consider a lascannon upgrade to make it an extra gun to fire in case (for only 15 pts). Otherwise, upgrade for missile pods for a pretty damn decent anti infantry weapon that can potentially come in turn one. Upgrade based on points/cargo (don't spend too many points if intend on making it hover, because it will get shot down.)
  • Valkyrie Sky Talon: Cheaper and slightly worse variant of Valkyrie, used as transport for drop sentinels and tauroses. Worth mention, it counts as heavy support, which comes to play in Big Guns Never Tire type of missions. As Tauroses could outflank, and sentinels could deep strike, you should run your Sky Talon empty most of the time.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Tauros Strike Squadron: Dirt cheap buggies with twin heavy flamers and Scout USR. If you want to scout flamer sentinels to ruin someone‚Äôs day, this guys would do it much better, for they are faster and deadlier for the same cost. Also all the tauros vehicles ignores immobilized results on a 4+. Can upgrade Heavy flamer to Tauros Grenade Launcher, a 40k grenade machine gun that fails to impress (works like regular grenade launcher with 50% range increase and a second shot). Do not expect them flimsy buggies to survive long: with AV10 all-round, open-topped and only two Hull Points, they are dead men riding. Used to be able to take a homing beacon... No more. So they're not as good as they used to be...
  • Tauros Venator Strike Squadron:The Tauros Venator has same rules and basic upgrades as Tauros while adding two extra wheels, +1 front armor and a twin-linked Multilaser (can upgrade to Lascannon) for measly point upgrade. The Tauros Venator is a damned fine fire-support unit. Being fast, and coming with 2 Hunter-Killer missiles as part of the bargain, it can act as a fire-support annoyance for targeting vulnerable rear armor or for sniping a pesky independent character. Lascannons and high mobility make for a fine combination too - if you exploit the max range of the Lascannons, something is going to get cooked in short order. Keep it away from enemy fire and use its mobility and range, and you'll find it hilariously good at taking out specific targets. Can't fit in Valkyries but can fly in a Valkyrie Sky Talon.

Squads can be mix and match but no more homing beacons... making them utterly useless compared to vendettas and vultures.

  • Vendetta Gunship Squadron: 3 twin-linked Lascannons. This is quite possibly the best unit in all of Warhammer 40K at this point. Carries Guardsmen. Outflanks. Relatively cheap. Comes in squadrons of up to three. There is no better option for fielding mobile anti-tank than this behemoth. Use Vendettas when the enemy fields Vehicles or Masses Monstrous Creatures - especially if they can fly as well. One thing that makes these even better for EDT is that they are still only 130 points unlike AM/IG which have been bumped to a hefty (but lets face it, fairer) 170pts. You got to take one minimum, not taking one is stupid and why wouldn't you??
  • Vulture Gunship: Essentially a 40K Apache Gunship, comes with strafing run USR, nose mounted heavy bolter, and 4 wing pylons that are divided into two pairs of pylons that give space for one twin-linked weapon (one pylon on each side) and one set of missiles. This machine is very modular, able to adapt to ANY situation; Green Tide getting you down? Well, instead of two twin-linked weapons, you can actually attach a twin-linked punisher cannon! The ammo boxes do take up the other missile pylons, but twin-linked and BS4 against ground targets means 18 shots hit instead of Leman Russes 10 (on average without Pask). I would personally recommend buying spending too much on all possible weapons and not gluing them in place - maybe use magnets or some other such method, just make sure you can change the vulture's armament easily to ensure it is never left wanting in a battle. Because the main strength of the Vulture is its adaptability.

Can be taken in squadrons of up to 3. These compete with Vendettas in terms of slots. Whereas vendettas can take out heavy vehicles and flyers, vultures can take on almost anything else when equipped with punisher cannons through sheer fire power.

  • Cyclops remote control demolition vehicle: RC toy cars with a big Demo-charge that can deep strike. Sick joke. Sure, it could deliver some pie plate of hate, but both operators and Cyclops are extremely vulnerable, and would always die before they could do their job. Alternatively, troll the fuck out of your enemy and hover, disembarking them 6', running them and then detonating them extremely precisely in the middle of an infantry formation after charging them, essentially turning your Valks into bombers.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Sentry gun battery These used to be dumb. They have now got better stats and can contribute to combat drop numbers (i.e. having one allows you to deep strike two valks on turn One, for example.) Being cheaper, these maybe a superior option to sentinels for combat drop. The difference is that they are immobile and can't take objectives. But were you really going to use sentinels for that? They are fairly flexible in how they can used and ultimately you take them to throw them away for the sake of combat drop. They're a cheap nuisance that contribute there part before the start of the game. Take one or two unless you really want a sentinel for some reason.
  • Thunderbolt Fighter: The Imperium's standard for Fighter craft, this workhorse of the Imperial Small Craft Fleet is meant to be able to do any job asked of it, whether it be bombing, ground attack, interception, or air superiority. But it is a bit pricey, and properly kitted Vendetta or Vulture could do ONE of it's jobs better. But this neglects the true strength of the thunderbolt, sheer immediate versatility, while the Vulture can claim to be versatile, it's likely going to be kitted out to do one role on the battlefield, while a thunderbolt can do four simultaneously. But the place where Thunderbolts really shines is in Apocalypse, where they are the bane of superheavy fliers (be wary of Harridans, they'll laugh at your Autocannons and the Lascannons are at best only going to take one wound off.)
  • Lightning Fighter: A nippy little air fighter, it defines the trope of "fragile speedster" with a small armament, paper-thin armor and only two HP. It is supposed to the cheaper and longer ranged companion of the Thunderbolt, carrying more missiles to compensate for a fewer number of guns to allow it to (briefly) pack the same amount of firepower, it does however, has serious survivability issues, and even the Big Shootas on an Ork Bomma will send one crashing down. And of course once it blows it's missile load it's firepower drops dramatically, but hey - do you expect this thing to last for much more than one turn?
  • Avenger: HELL YEAH! Your dedicated AtG Jet Plane with a tasty Strafing Run rule. It comes stock with an absolutely useless defensive rear-mounted Heavy Stubber (can help knock a flying monster out of the sky tho...), two Lascannons, and the AVENGER BOLT CANNON, which is basically half of a VULCAN MEGABOLTER. This means it packs SEVEN Megabolter and two Lascannon shots at BS4 for only 150 pts, to ruin the day of anything with less than AV14 or a 2+ armour save. And if it's not enough, you could fit additional guns, missiles or bombs under it's wings. Altho it is marketed in fluff as "dedicated anti-tank attack jet" it's S6 Ap3 bolter fails miserably in this role against heavier vehicles. Consider it worthwhile if you can get it deployed without scatter so that you could strafe the enemy tanks in the rear? Or just take another vendetta who does the tank-hunting far better, or another valkyrie which costs less and can potentially cause as much damage with it's 4 large blasts and lascannon

Fortifications[edit]

You are a flier army you don't use fortifications.

  • Aegis Defense Lines: Even though you shouldn't need this, sometimes a starting ground force is good to have. So take this if you are going to take any fortification at all. A Quad gun or Icarus Lascannon is always nice and it Also gives access to the Coms Relay which means you would not have to ally the IG Codex and get an Astropath. I like to my CS behind it and hold an objective with a 2+ cover save and sniper rifles (longest range weapon they can take.)
  • Skyshield Landing Pad: Well if you REALLY don't want to get those homing beacons you could get this... But don't. Trust me.
  • Imperial Bastion: Expensive piece of terrain that you are never going to use. Unless it sits on objective. In which case enemy will get to it first and use it.
  • Fortress of Redemption: See above.

Lord of War[edit]

You don't get shit like the Baneblade but whatever, right?

  • Marauder Bomber: Flying Fortress of 40k. Imagine the massive bombers that dropped massive amounts of bombs on cities during the Second World War - the Marauder is basically the same thing, but with much bigger and less dinky and useless guns (for the setting). It also happens to share the same name as one too. It's not good for its point cost though, even in apocalypse. Those bombs just don't hurt tanks, and that's something you need to be able to kill. Does come with the ability to switch out the heavy bomb payload for two Hellstorm Bombs, big Inferno templates full of Str7 Ap3 goodness. Useful for when that annoying guy brings a whole company of Space Marines and you want them to DIE NOW. Unfortunate side effect is the tiny payload size. Oh well. As per new Apoc rules super heavy tend to explode in hilariously high range (with D strengths in the 5" epicenter) you can just keep this thing zooming above enemy forces and dare him to kill it.
    • Maurauder Destroyer Heavy Attack Plane. While the standard Maurauder is the Imperium's B-17 (if thats a B-17, I would love to see the imperium's lancaster. imagine a bouncing demolisher shell!!!), this one is the B-25G. Regardless, with a load out like this it's more akin to the bastard forbidden love child of a Manticore and a Hydra flak tank that's trying too hard, since it's armed with six massive rocket on the wings and three twin-linked autocannons in its nose. Instead of bombing, this sucker flies in and strafes anything unlucky to be on the ground, with hellstorm of fire, and then flies away. Better than the bomber in every way (looks, armor values, possession of actual AA mounted guns and glorious bombing runs).

Tactics[edit]

Ride Of The Valkyries:[1] (Fixed for accuracy, old link was dead, boss) Pretty simple: Put anything in Valkyries or Vendettas, max Heavy support with other flyers and don't forget get to amass enough Valkyries, Drop Sentinels or Sentry Gun Batteries since Combat Drop gives you HALF of them coming in from Deep Strike Turn 1. Just realize that this is a very competitive list and you will not make many friends if you show up with this style of army outside of a tournament.

Ground Forces, First Wave, Second Wave, Air Support You have the wonderful advantage of combat drop, however you might not get first turn. So anything you have to keep on the ground should stay in cover. Get a veteran squad with forward observers and you have a good infiltrating homing beacon for everything coming on. Get an aegis defence line and man it with your command squad. The quad gun will ensure that light armoured flyer hunters (hive crone, crimson hunter) are taken care of (or at least severely weakened) before they can cause trouble (which they will if allowed). Don't take chances if your opponent goes first, go to ground and make sure you're in cover. The command squad will be fine with 2+ cover save (I doubt the enemy will get flamers to your side on turn 1) but be sure to take care with any veterans starting on the ground.

Once you get your first turn it's valkyrie time. Make sure to take as many sentinels or sentries you need to combat drop all of your valkyries (but no more than that, too many points/not very good). Valkyries go best with multiple rocket pods but don't be afraid to have one or two lascannon/missile combos to even it out (comes out cheaper in points and molests enemy armour). Keep at least one or two squads (depending on objective) in the air until it is safe for them to come out (unless it is some kind of emergency).

Turn 2, bring on as much as the dice will lets you. Stormtroopers benefit from rerollable scatter and can be really good at tank busting from behind for only 105 points (85 + 2 melta guns). Sentinels are also cool except they cost 75 points with a multi melta and are only BS3 (stormtroopers come out better) but you should still take one for combat dropping valks. That or sentries which are limited but are cheaper and kinda fun.

But what you really want are the flyers. A vendetta will blast most enemy flyers that aren't vulnerable to quad guns with relative ease (3 twin linked lascannons yes!). They are also good for popping tanks and MCs from the safety of the skies. But what really makes the enemy shit themselves is a punisher vulture which will rip apart almost any kind of infantry (pinning any survivors), light vehicles and light flyers and anything with low toughness or meh armour save (MEQs and TEQs wont be wiped out but they will usually lose something and can be pinned).

Allies[edit]

Elysian Drop Troops ally with everyone like Imperial Guard does, but can ally with an Imperial Guard contingent as Battle Brothers (and viceversa).

It may be worth allying with regular guard on the ground to have a foothold while your flyers do their thing. Especially now that you can take a russ squadron as an HQ. Grab two or three russes and a vet squad to hold an objective behind the line or something. *might as well ally with the fw armoured army from IA1. Pay more for tanks but with objective secured and no need for veterans its a great ally. But than again, you probably want friends, right?

D-99 can ally with Codex Marines, Inquisition and IG as Battle Brothers, but can ally with Sisters and Blood Angels/Grey Knights/Dark Angels/Space Wolves as AoC, which stings particularly for the Knights and Sisters who really benefit from flyers.